In his first day as president, Joe Biden had something for almost everyone in his far-left coalition. For the climate alarmists, he signed an executive order revoking the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. For the radical LGBT crowd, he signed an executive order that I read as calling on schools across the country to allow transgender athletes to participate in the sport of their gender identity. (It says, “Children should be able to learn without worrying about whether they will be denied access to the restroom, the locker room, or school sports.”)
For the pro-illegal immigration crowd, he instructed the Department of Homeland Security to stop deporting illegal aliens. For the pro-abortion folks, the new administration announced that Biden will soon revoke the Mexico City Policy, that prohibits U.S. funding for nongovernmental groups that provide or refer patients for abortions.
As for the BLM racemongers, Biden had already nominated a Black racist to head the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.
None of these moves has anything to do with helping our economy or combatting the pandemic. Some of them will clearly make the lives of many Americans worse.
Revoking the Keystone XL pipeline will damage the economy and cause unemployment. The order on transgender athletes portends harm to female athletes.
The decision to stop deportations helps illegal immigrants, not Americans. It will lead to more crime and to a new flood of illegal immigration that will deprive Americans in the lower economic strata of employment opportunities and/or wages.
There are two ways of looking at Biden’s maiden initiatives. Maybe he wanted straight away to check boxes with the left-most elements that supported him, so as to get the most controversial or unpopular items out of the way early, while the honeymoon (if any) is still on and well before the next election.
But maybe the early hard-left moves reflect what the Biden presidency will be — a preview of coming attractions.
That’s Tucker Carlson’s view. He says:
You can tell a lot about what people value on their first day in any job, so what’s at the top of Joe Biden’s to-do list? Opening the borders and crushing our country’s last remaining independent economic sector.
I think Biden’s early moves reflect what his presidency will be, though not for the reason Carlson gives. A president’s first day actions might be driven by strategic considerations, as opposed to what he values.
In Biden’s case, does he really value anything other than power and money? I doubt it. He could just as easily be on the side of female athletes as the transgender side, and might be if the former were organized in a powerful lobby. As for deportation and abortion, Biden has been on both sides.
The Biden presidency will likely be driven by the hard left because adhering to its agenda will be the path of least resistance. The same groups that set his first day priorities will continue to set them.
Who might resist? Not Susan Rice, Biden’s top domestic policy adviser. Her background is in foreign policy. She lacks the chops and the spine to stand up to the hard left. Rice didn’t get where she is by eschewing the path of least resistance.
Furthermore, to the extent Rice holds views on domestic policy, these views are likely to be those of Barack Obama, whom she loyally served. Obama is a hard leftist. He yearns to see Biden implement the radical agenda he desired but, in some cases, was too cautious to push.
What about Ron Klain, Biden’s chief of staff? He’s a Biden guy, not an Obama man. In addition, he comes across as somewhat pragmatic.
I can imagine Klain causing Biden to take the occasional non-woke initiative. Not all executive orders will promote the interests of minority groups, climatistas, and enemies of the unborn.
But there’s little reason to believe that Klain will cause the president to resist the hard left. He will believe that Biden can’t afford many enemies on the left and that the media will give Biden the cover he needs to do the left’s bidding.
Thus, Biden’s first day likely was, in fact, a preview of coming attractions.